When Mom Starts Work
You stopped working when you first had kids and happily assumed primary responsibility for their care -- and for most of the household chores. But now you're back in the workforce, and you find yourself doing everything you've always done -- plus trying to hold down a job. Suddenly, that smartly tailored supermom uniform starts to feel very uncomfortable. Suddenly, your soul mate starts to look like a bit of a bum. "A lot of couples say this is one of the most challenging periods of their lives," says Dr. Heitler. "They have to completely renegotiate who's responsible for what, and that's difficult to do after a pattern has been set."
Just as when that first baby came along, you're going to have to rethink the household-chore chart. Find a quiet moment (remember those?) to sit down together and hash out the division-of-labor question. Do this up front instead of waiting until you're seething with resentment because he's walked right past those piles of dirty laundry or that stack of bills.
One effective approach: Make a list of all the household jobs. Pick a few duties that aren't totally hateful to you, and let your spouse do the same. Divide up the really horrible ones as fairly as possible, and consider tackling them together so you'll have a chance to talk while getting them done. Try your new plan for a month. If it's not increasing the peace at home, tweak the list until you find a balance that feels right for both of you.